Spring is just around the corner and it's beginning to feel a little more comfortable outside. The fishing has improved inshore and offshore and a couple more weeks of mild weather will really turn things back on.
The Sheepshead, Redfish and Flounder bit pretty well this past weekend. Plenty of big Sheepshead were caught around Perdido Pass and in the coastal bays. Live Fiddler crabs are still the top bait as well as live shrimp. Flounder are being taken in decent numbers off of the Gulf State Park Pier and around the jetties and seawall at Perdido pass. Live bull minnows and various soft plastic lures are best. The Redfish have been more of a bycatch while targeting other species but they are in good enough numbers to target. Most have been taken on live shrimp or fiddler crabs while Sheepshead fishing.
The surf fishing is still relatively slow. Two more weeks of mild weather will pick it back up. Expect Pompano to show up within the next three weeks. There are still good numbers of Whiting biting though. Use small pieces of shrimp.
The beautiful weather we had over the weekend and into the early part of the week was the window many were waiting for. The bite was a little slower due to a very full moon, but there were still some very nice catches hitting the docks. The Amberjack were the main exception. They bit very well on structures in 160-300ft on both live and artificial baits. Jigging provided a lot of fast fishing for many crews. Both metal jigs and large, soft plastic grubs got the nod.
The Triggerfish were a little slow along with Vermillion Snapper but persistence paid on natural bottom areas in 120-200ft.
Not many boats made it out to the rigs for Tuna so I don't have a report from the SW.
I'm on the final leg of getting my boat stuff squared away for the season, but I did make it out on Sunday with two very good customers of ours, Dr Kearley and his wife Edie. We stopped at a spot in 200ft for some fun with Amberjack first. They were ready to play and we scored some nice AJs using 5-8oz, butterfly-style jigs. After that we went searching for some new spots for Golden Tilefish, one of my favorites in the eating department. The full moon had me a little nervous but even with the slow bite we managed to put a few in the box for dinner.
We will see what happens this week.
Sam's Bait and Tackle
27122 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, Al 36561
Golden Tilefish from Sunday